Meet the reptile lady of Kloof

An Iguana named Tyson is offered a  Nasturtium flower snack in the care of Julie Graham at the Lazy Lizzard Lodge in Kloof, KZN
Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN 5/11/2009
An Iguana named Tyson is offered a Nasturtium flower snack in the care of Julie Graham at the Lazy Lizzard Lodge in Kloof, KZN Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN 5/11/2009

A DURBAN woman shares her home with 49 pets - 26 of them reptiles ranging from lizards frogs to snakes.

Julie Graham looks after scary reptiles that have outgrown their cages while others are no longer wanted by their owners.

Graham started the Lazy Lizard Lodge and Rescue centre in Kloof, just outside Durban, last year in order to protect the pets from harm.

The centre also offers short-term accommodation for reptiles whose owners are away on vacation or if they need special care and medication.

Graham started the facility when her son-in-law gave her an iguana (a large lizard native to Central and South America) as a present.

"The minute I laid eyes on the iguana I was fascinated. I did my research about pets and how to keep them and the rest, as they say, is history," she said.

Graham does not only collect these animals, she also selects a few to show off to her community. She does exhibitions at primary schools and homes for the aged and disabled around her area.

Graham has 10 iguanas, six chameleons, six bearded dragons, two tortoises, a spinney tailed lizard, a Bosch water monitor, a bullfrog, a ball python, a night adder, a collection of emperor scorpions, a rabbit, five quails, five dogs and seven cats.

Most of the animals have been saved from homes where they were badly treated or left behind by owners.

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